"He [Big Bird] can't get the courage to even
start skating, at which point this little girl
stares at him. Just stares. Stares at the sad, hollow shell of a bird he's become."
Something unusual happens, and the camera pans out, revealing a small child staring intently at the subject in blank amazement. The context of this can vary widely. In romantic comedies, the staring children will be present any time the main couple argue or have an awkward romantic moment. In action movies, they can show up anytime something explodes
or The Hero
does something cool. This can be Played for Laughs
by highlighting the absurdity of the moment, or Played for Drama
to emphasize the horror of the event. It's sometimes accompanied by a "What are you looking at, kid?" or a dropped ice cream cone.
Using one of these is a good way to toy with breaking The Masquerade
, since a child who reports seeing an unusual event may not be believed by adults.
If the child's staring is just a little too eerie for comfort, then it's a Creepy Child
. May overlap with Deer in the Headlights
and Things That Go Bump in the Night
. Related to Innocent Bystander
Anime and Manga
- Erza gets a whole group of them in Fairy Tail when she accidentally breaks into a men's public bath, complete with Corner of Woe.
- In the manga, all the grown-up men are terrified and cover up with towels or steam, while a young boy with wide eyes just stares at her curiously and doesn't care to cover up.
- In Lovely Complex, Otani gathers a small crowd of these after making a scene during the Beach Episode.
- The kids watching Yukiho dig a hole in the sand in the anime adaptation of THE iDOLM@STER
- In Doctor Who, the TARDIS disappearing is sometimes accompanied by a child bystander looking on in awe, such as the group of children in "Closing Time".
- Firefly: Jayne gets his own personal one in Jaynestown.
- Fringe. Fringe. Fringe. Fringe. Fringe. You could actually make a drinking game out of this if you watched only the teasers.
- Used in the teaser of The X-Files episode "Fearful Symmetry."
- This kid was a recurring character in Megas XLR, standing around, drinking a Mega Slush or something, and proclaiming "cooooooool" at all the destruction going on in the episode.
- Sym-Bionic Titan: When Octis changes his holographic face to avoid recognition by the police, a little kid standing next to him notices and tries to get his mom's attention, who brushes him off.
- In a Dexter's Laboratory episode, Dexter gets a little girl stalker, who just stares at him all the time with huge eyes.
- The Invader Zim episode "The Frycook What Came From All That Space" has a staring alien kid gawking in horror at all the bizarre stunts Zim gets up to. No one else notices, not even the kid's mom.